A/N: Don't own anything. This story is set to when Chris had yet to make his return to the WWE. Enjoy. :)
Chris Irvine slowly opened his eyes, vaguely wondering in his sleep-induced haze why he had woken up in the first place. He raised his head slowly and glanced at the digital clock on his nightstand, only to see that the bright red digits were reading 4:28 in the morning. He groaned and turned the other way, closing his eyes and drawing the pillow up closer to him. It was way too early to be up, and he already had an intense day ahead of him. Radio show appearances, some promotional things here and there for his band, and then his big return later that night on Raw… that was his last coherent thought before he started to doze again.
Some seconds later, he opened his eyes again, now hearing the knocking coming in more clearly. He groaned again and shoved his covers angrily off of him, wondering who the hell that could possibly be. Unless this was some kind of emergency, his mood wasn't going to improve until he went back to bed. It had taken him almost an hour to fall asleep with his nerves and anticipation for the following night, and he didn't exactly appreciate his shortened sleep being interrupted any further.
"I'm coming!" he snapped at the knocking, effectively stopping it as he trudged over to his hotel room door. He tried to imagine who it could be, but no one knew about his in-ring return that night. It had been a well-kept secret between only the top WWE brass and himself, because no one wanted it to get leaked online. Vince had even told him to keep it from his friends, so unless his head honcho for a boss had decided to grace him with a visit at the crack of dawn, Chris was at a loss for who it might be.
He reached the door and peered through the peep-hole, seeing a girl standing there. She was blonde and she was dressed provocatively in a snug mini-skirt and a revealing top. He raised an eyebrow in surprise, before opening the door.
"Yeah?" he asked, not opening the door all the way. The sooner he got this over with, the sooner he could go back to sleep.
"Hey, are you Chris Jericho?" she asked, looking him over as he inwardly groaned.
"Yeah, but don't you think it's a little early to be acting like the president of my fan club?" he asked, not masking his annoyance.
"I'm sorry, I saw you walk by in the lobby earlier and I just had to see if it was you…"
"Well, it's me, is that all you needed?" he demanded, craving his sleep. This girl was either a fan or a ring rat, and right then he actually preferred to be well-rested than to get laid. Tomorrow night, after his big return, he'd be up for some celebrating with the ladies.
"So I take it you don't remember me," she said slowly, and he squinted at her and tried to place a name to her face. He racked his brain for a moment, but he was tired and came up with nothing.
"Look," he sighed, getting irritated now, "I don't remember you, if I even ever knew you, it's 4:30 in the morning right now, and I'm not up to beating around the bush with anyone, okay? If you've got nothing important to say, then say so and let me get some damn sleep, will you?"
"Wow," she said, almost sadly, "And here I thought you would've remembered our night together last year."
"Last year?" he asked, gazing at her in confusion.
"Yeah, you don't remember? Right here in Vegas," the blonde girl said with a hint of a smile. "You were quite the man that night…"
"Was I drunk?"
"You were drinking, yeah," she told him.
Chris sucked at his teeth, not wanting to remember that night last year when he was in Las Vegas. He had blocked out that night for so long, knowing that he had drank the night away. He had wound up with some random girl in the morning, already cementing the end of a horrible day. He remembered the blonde hair, estranged blonde hair that told him he had fucked up for good. He gazed at the girl currently in front of him intently, taking in her green eyes as he tried to remember, but it was hopeless. He had left without ever saying goodbye, and with a horrific hangover to boot. There was no way he could recognize her now.
"What do you want?" he asked, wishing he hadn't ever opened the door.
"I don't know," she purred innocently, shrugging as he narrowed his eyes. "I just wanted to see if maybe you were interested in picking up where we left off…"
"Go home," he said, closing the door. She got a hand up before he could, stopping the door from closing and stepping forward a bit as he groaned in annoyance.
"I can't believe it, after that amazing night, you really don't remember me?" she asked incredulously.
"Yes, I don't remember you, I'm sorry," he said with an exasperated sigh. "I'm sorry, really, but I only have a couple more hours to sleep, and it's kinda hard to get that sleep when I'm standing here talking to you… are we done here?"
He thought he caught a glimpse of a smirk on her face, before she carelessly shrugged, "Well, since you're being uptight tonight, I suppose we're done."
He mumbled a thanks as he rolled his eyes, closing the door and locking it to boot. Yawning, he trudged back to his bedroom, mentally cursing the precious few minutes of sleep he just lost. He collapsed onto his bed a few moments later, closing his eyes and letting out a deep breath. Now he could get his much-needed sleep…
He was just starting to doze when he faintly heard some noise. More asleep than awake, he ignored it at first, until he recognized it. He groaned into his pillow before raising his head and seeing his cell phone vibrating on the nightstand. He reached out for it and grabbed it, bringing it closer and turning the vibration off. Raising the phone to his face, he squinted at the number, before sighing and flipping it open.
"Hello?" he mumbled, already laying back down.
"Hey man, it's Jay," came the voice on the other end.
"This had better be good," Chris said in one tired breath.
"Sorry to wake you up man, but I just had to call you after reading online that you're coming back… I thought you wanted to see how things were in TNA man, I don't think you really heard them out."
"What?" Chris asked angrily, turning so he was laying on his side and wide awake now. "Where the hell did you read that?"
"Is it true?" Jay asked, and Chris just sighed as he sat up completely in bed. He ran a hand over his mouth as he yawned, nodding, even though his friend couldn't see him.
"Yeah," he finally said, relenting. "I can't believe it got leaked online."
"Yeah, you know it all eventually does," Jay said with a chuckle. "I just think you should've given TNA another shot, looked it over more closely, seen what it really has to offer."
"I think this will be good for me man, it should be good, I just wish someone hadn't fucking leaked it," he said in annoyance.
"Well, whatever's right for you, I just had to call you as soon as I saw that… sorry if I woke you."
"It's fine, some girl was here just a few minutes ago," Chris said with another yawn.
"Oh," Jay said, his tone changing and growing lighter, more amused. "Well then, don't keep the ladies waiting…"
"Whatever," Chris said as he lay down on his back, gazing up at the ceiling. "It was some girl I hit it with last year, after, well, you know…"
"Yeah, I know, so what happened?"
"She found me, how she found me, I have no idea, you know how these girls can be damn stalkers," Chris said as he rolled his eyes. "She wanted another piece of me, I guess."
"Wow, and you said what?"
"I said no, not tonight man," Chris said as he closed his eyes. "Maybe tomorrow night, I'm just wired for tomorrow, I've got a busy day ahead and I just want some sleep."
"Alright, that's my cue to let you go," Jay said with a snicker. "Hope it all goes well for you tomorrow… or later tonight, if you want to get technical."
"Uh huh," Chris said, already getting tired again. "Call me after the show tomorrow, maybe we can catch up later on, like this weekend or something."
"Will do, take it easy man."
"You too," Chris mumbled, snapping his cell shut. He grabbed his pillow and turned on his side, looking over at the time briefly. It was almost five in the morning, and he had to be up in an hour and a half to start getting ready for his day. It was plenty of time to get some sleep…
The sun hitting his eyes was the next thing he was conscious of, before squeezing his eyes together and cursing the fact that he forgot to close the blinds of his hotel room window. He lifted his head and glanced at the clock, seeing that it was almost 9:00 in the morning, before laying back down and closing his eyes to go back to sleep. A few seconds later, the time dawned on him and he instantly sat up in bed and rubbed his eyes, before looking at the time.
"Shit!" he cursed, immediately getting off the bed and looking around his room. He instantly thought of his phone, and he found it by his pillow. He snatched it up and groaned, seeing that he had around ten missed calls. How the hell could he have slept through that? He then remembered that it was set to vibrate, and he sighed, running a hand through his hair. It was already an hour past the time he was supposed to meet with a radio show, and he cursed again.
He checked the time. He only had one hour to get to his next radio show appearance. No sooner had the thought left his mind than he already had his suitcase up on his bed, digging through it for something to wear.
"I can't fucking believe I slept in," he mumbled to himself as he threw out a clean t-shirt and some jeans, all while listening to his voicemails with his phone held between his shoulder and his cheek. He sighed when he heard Vince's voice come in.
"Chris, it's me, Vince," his boss said on the phone. "Look, I don't know if you've noticed by now, but word's gotten out on your return tonight. I thought I told you not to tell anyone, so I don't understand how this could've happened -"
Chris snapped the phone shut, not wanting to hear it as he looked around his room for his duffel bag for later that night as he slipped on his jeans. He was just zipping them up when he heard another sound, and he rolled his eyes in annoyance when he recognized the sound as a baby crying. It was probably someone in a room next to him, so he didn't pay it much mind as he pulled his t-shirt on over his head while going to get his duffel bag. He lifted it and tossed it on his bed next to his suitcase, opening it and making sure he had everything.
Just then, his cell phone started vibrating again. He looked at it and groaned at the sight of Vince's name coming up, and he made a mental note to call his boss on the way to the radio show he was scheduled to appear on. He was supposed to promote his band, and he had already blown off one commitment that morning.
And not only that, but the baby he heard a moment ago was crying louder.
"Someone shut that kid up," he mumbled, making sure he had his outfit he was going to wear later that night. He also had packed his ring tights and boots, just in case. You could never be too sure. His cell phone went off again and he growled impatiently, snatching it up and answering without checking to see who it was.
"Chris? This is Stephanie, where the hell have you been?"
He rolled his eyes at the sound of her tone, "I'm still at the hotel, I slept in late, I haven't left yet."
"My dad wants to know who you told about you coming back."
"I didn't tell anyone!" he said, exasperated as he zipped up his duffel bag. "Why the hell do you guys assume it was me?"
"Don't get smart with me," she said testily. "Who else could it have been? Oh, I know," she said sarcastically. "Maybe my mom was the one that leaked it out online, yeah, that makes more sense. I should go drill her about it."
"Maybe you should," he responded in the same tone as she sighed on her end.
"It was a simple question, all it needed was a simple answer," she said snidely, and he chuckled mirthlessly.
"Look, Steph, I'm really fucking busy right now, I'm running late, and I don't have the time to deal with you right now, mmkay?"
"Whatever, just watch who the hell you open your mouth to next time," she said, and he was about to respond when he was met with a dial tone. He snorted, snapping the phone closed and tossing it on the nightstand as an old familiar frustration crept up inside of him. How dare she just accuse him like that, he thought to himself as he sat down and slipped on some socks. It made zero sense – why would he want to sabotage his own return? That woman and her father made no sense sometimes. He was starting to think that maybe Jay was right after all and he should've gone to TNA when he heard the crying from the same baby getting even louder.
"Would someone shut that kid up!" he yelled, only to hear the cries get even clearer. He was about to put on his shoes when he stopped, listening more attentively to the cries. He frowned suspiciously as he quickly put on his shoes, before standing and walking slowly towards the door. Something in his stomach tied up when he noticed that the closer he got to the door, the louder the cries seemed to get.
He finally got to the door and looked up through the peephole, but he couldn't see anyone holding a baby. But the crying was there, and so he slowly opened the door and looked out. His heart sank when he saw a car seat sitting on the floor right outside of his door.
And it wasn't empty.
He looked down the hallways, down both ways and then one more time, as if to catch someone running away. But there was no one in sight. He ran a hand over his mouth, before looking down at the car seat and kneeling down next to it. This had to be a joke, he thought to himself as he observed the occupant of said car seat. But that occupant was definitely no joke.
Chris stared disbelievingly at the teary blue eyes of a baby boy, who was sniffling as he looked back at Chris in equal disbelief. The boy, and Chris assumed it was a boy since he was wearing blue overalls over a light blue shirt, was young. Chris didn't know much about babies, but he knew this kid was young. Next to the car seat was a diaper bag, and he once again looked around the hallways before grabbing the diaper bag. Sticking out of the diaper bag was an envelope, and he slowly took that out, only then noticing that his hand was trembling.
Chris sat down heavily in front of the car seat, his radio show appearance momentarily forgotten as he stared at the little boy in front of him, who was staring right back at him.
"How'd you get here?" he asked dumbly, wishing he'd get an answer but knowing he was holding the answer in his hands. The little boy didn't have much hair, barely any at all, but he had a small trace of blonde hair over his head. It was his eyes though that unnerved Chris… the boy's eyes were a bright and clear blue.
Just like his own. He looked down then at the envelope in his hands, and tore it open, pulling out a letter. He looked up at the baby, as if making sure he wasn't making it up, before unfolding the letter and reading it:
I'm sorry that you didn't remember our night together, but as you can probably see for yourself, I've carried around a nice reminder of you for the last year. The baby you have in front of you is your son, Skylar… he's three months old. I hope you'll take good care of him.
No signature. He reread it, and then reread it again, before running a hand over his face. He then looked up at the little boy, and he could see it. The boy had his eyes. Chris sat there for a long time, staring at the baby sitting in front of him in a car seat, feeling like he was in a surreal moment. It felt like this wasn't really happening to him, like this only happened to people in movies.
But it made sense. No wonder she had come in to see him, she had maybe wanted to tell him about this, but he had practically cut her off. The timeline made sense anyways… he was three months old, he looked three months old anyways, and Chris had seen that girl a year before. The situation then hit him like a bag of bricks.
He had a son, and he didn't even know the mother's name. Not only that, but he had found out about said son by her dropping him off at her door. He wiped at his mouth with his hand as Skylar's bottom lip started trembling.
"Oh no you don't, no no no," Chris said as he stood up immediately. He lifted the car seat by the handle as he snatched up the diaper bag, walking back into his room. "Bear with me kid, and for God's sake, don't start crying." He put the car seat down on the dining table as Skylar sniffled again. "We're going to get to the bottom of this."
No sooner had he said that than the answering machine to his hotel room phone kicked in, "Hey Jericho," a man's voice came in, who he instantly placed as Jeff Jarrett. "Look man, we heard about you making a return to the ring tonight, and we just wanted to let you know, there's still time to weigh your options…"
Chris was making sure Skylar was fully strapped into his car seat when the little boy started to cry. "Come on kid, don't do this," Chris pleaded, even though Skylar's face was already turning into a shade of red as the choking sobs came.
"I mean, you don't officially debut until tonight, right? So if you have a change of heart, feel free to call me or Dixie, and we'll care of you man. Think about it," Jeff's voice stated as Chris dug through the diaper bag he had found. He pulled out a small stuffed bear, and he frowned at the sight of it, before offering it to the screaming baby in front of him.
"Here, take it," Chris said, watching as Skylar momentarily paused to look at the stuffed bear. He took it in his small hands, staring at it for a moment before throwing it on the floor and busting into tears again. Chris sucked at his teeth, wondering what he should do before hearing his cell phone go off again, vibrating on his nightstand. He sighed at the sound of it, before looking back at the car seat and noticing a pacifier in the side of the seat near Skylar's leg. He immediately retrieved it and gave it back to the little boy, instantly assuaging the tears and silencing the cries, if only for a moment.
"Man, you've got some lungs, kid," Chris said in amazement, still not fully digesting that this was his son. Skylar looked at him curiously through his teary eyes, sucking happily on his pacifier now as Chris darted back for his cell phone. He checked the time as he grabbed his duffel bag and slung it over his shoulder, flipping open his phone that was ringing.
"Hello?" he asked, but he heard nothing. He held the phone out in front of him and saw that he had missed the call. It was from Stephanie, and he rolled his eyes as he flipped it closed. She could leave him a voicemail. He grabbed his shades and checked the time, seeing that he had to hussle to make his radio show appearance. He disappeared into the bathroom momentarily, looking into the mirror and completely forgetting for the moment about what he had found outside his door as he checked out his hair. He pulled out a piece of gum from his pocket and popped it in his mouth, flicking off the lights as he exited the bathroom and then his bedroom, snatching up his keys… before reality sucker punched him in the mouth again, in the form of a three-month-old baby.
He didn't really want to believe that that was his son sitting there, but the resemblance was almost uncanny. Still, his common sense did not want him to just accept this without any questions. But there was no one around to give him answers, and he couldn't just leave the kid alone. Chris ran a hand through his shortened hair, wondering if maybe there was someone he could leave Skylar with, and he briefly wondered if he should just take him to a police station and tell them he found the kid at his hotel room door and he didn't believe it was his son.
He glanced at the time and groaned, seeing that he had to leave and had to leave now. He only had two options – bring Skylar with him, or leave him somewhere. Chris might've been an asshole to some people, but the second choice wasn't much of a choice at all. Especially with the way Skylar was innocently playing with the blanket he was covered in as he sucked on his pacifier. The kid had already been abandoned once, and Chris wasn't about to make it twice on the same day, even if he didn't want to fully believe that it was his son.
And with that thought, he stalked right up to the table where Skylar's car seat was sitting on, slinging the diaper bag over his shoulder and mumbling obscenities under his breath as he grabbed the handle of the car seat. Skylar giggled behind his pacifier as Chris lifted him up.
"I'm glad you think this is hilarious, but this isn't funny, Skylar," Chris said sarcastically, slightly annoyed by whoever had just left him there but feeling some satisfaction in saying the boy's name out loud. "We're only going to get past today, and then I'm going to find out what to do with you, kid, so behave," he ordered, even though he knew the little boy had no clue what he was talking about. He just looked up at him.
He then heard his cell phone vibrate again and he closed his eyes, groaning, "Goddammit!" he hissed, turning and walking back into the room to retrieve his phone. He set Skylar's car seat down on his bed as he grabbed his phone, noting that Stephanie had left him a rather lengthy voicemail. He snorted, putting his phone in its clip and hooking it onto his jeans.
"Damn women," he mumbled, picking up Skylar's car seat and marching back out towards the door. He locked it behind him, before walking down the hallway. "I don't know who the hell your mother thinks she is, Skylar, if that's even your real name," Chris said to the little boy. He looked down at him as he walked towards the elevator, "Is that your name, kid? Skylar?"
The little boy looked up at him, his tears drying on his cheeks as he continued to suck on the pacifier. Chris nodded as he set him down on the floor, before pushing the button for the elevator. "Yeah, I thought so. I'll give you this, it's a cool name, but thirty odd years from now, I don't think you'll appreciate a bundle of Skylar being delivered to your door when your boss is Vince McMahon. Maybe then you'll appreciate the kind of situation I'm in right now," Chris told him as he chewed on his gum. "I'm not a babysitter, I'm no one's babysitter, kid," he said, crossing his arms as he stared at the little boy who stared back.
It was the worst possible time for this kind of thing to happen to him, but he was having a hard time denying that this was real. The timeline, the fact that she had come to visit him this morning, the boy's eyes, it was just… surreal. Skylar, the kid staring right back at him, was his, but that was just… he couldn't wrap his head around it. It was too much, too soon, and so he decided to derail his thoughts to something else. He remembered Stephanie's voice mail just then and decided to listen to it, because it would take his mind momentarily off the kid in the car seat at his feet and what he meant in Chris's world if he was indeed his son.
He snickered at that thought, deep down knowing he was denying the obvious. But the obvious right now was more than he could handle, almost to the point where he felt relieved to hear Stephanie's voice come in through his voicemail.
"Hey Chris, it's me again," she said, and he looked up at the elevator numbers so as not to look at Skylar, who was starting to whine. "Before you started acting like a jackass last time I called you, I just wanted to let you know that my dad wants you here an hour earlier than he originally told you. You seem to be having a problem answering your phone today, and we all need to talk about the fact that your return got leaked. We have to make some changes, so if you could get here early, that would be terrific, thanks," she said in a smartass tone before hanging up. He sighed as he hung up, not wanting to really deal with her more than he had to.
Skylar whined louder, and Chris finally looked down at him.
"What is it, huh? Can I get a moment to myself, kid?" Chris asked as the elevator opened. Just then a whiff hit his nose, and he sighed loudly as he closed his eyes. "Skylar, you've got to be shitting me!" he said in exasperation, and he heard the little boy giggling. Chris crinkled his nose back in disgust as he flipped open his phone again to cancel his appearance on the local radio show.
"Thanks a lot, kid," Chris said snidely as he looked down at Skylar. "You're making me look like a jackass over here, and if you think I'm about to change that bomb of a diaper, you must be mistaken," he informed the little boy, who just smiled up at him. "Yeah, hello? Hi, this is Chris Jericho, I was scheduled to be there in about twenty minutes…" he said as he picked up the car seat and looked around for the nearest bathroom. He spotted one and started walking towards it, already dreading what he had to do, "Right, yeah, well listen, something's come up and I'm really sorry, but I don't think I'm going to be able to make it…"
Chris disappeared into the men's bathroom with his phone call, and as soon as he did, two watchful eyes turned away and leaned back against the wall around a corner at the far end of the hallway. The female smirked, pleased that he was buying it and that he wasn't being a complete ass to her son. She had known that he wouldn't disappoint.
So far, so good…